What is a henna tattoo? Is henna permanent?

What is a henna tattoo? Is henna permanent?

What is a henna tattoo?  What does it actually contain? First of all, Henna art is something that is beautiful and elegant. I am developing my own brand of natural products. The brand name is Cutantirah. It includes natural henna and other products. It’s underdevelopment, but you can check out the instagram page here: http://instagram.com/cutantirah  I have also blogged about the origin of henna in this post here : http://serenapillay.com/henna-origin-where-does-it-really-come-from  In this post we discuss what is a henna tattoo and if henna tattoo’s are permanent. Before we attempt to answering “what is a henna tattoo?” Let’s look at what henna actually is and its contents.

What is henna?

The scientific name for henna is (Lawsonia inermis). It is a flowering plant that produces a brownish‐red dye molecule (lawsone). It binds readily to proteins of animals and people. Drying the plant and crushing it – a very fine powder forms. This is what is what we call henna powder. However, applying it in a powder form is not so common, as we discover below. 

Henna paste What does it contain?      

What is a henna tattoo? Is henna permanent?

Henna paste and henna powder

To apply henna it is needs to be in a paste form. Firstly, drying and crushing the plant (Lawsonia Enermis) a fine powder results. Then, with the addition of essentials oils and citric acids a paste forms. The henna can then be applied on the body. Adding essential oils can make the henna stain darker and last longer. Different henna artists use different essential oils to darken the stain of the henna.


What is an essential oil ?

Essential oil is derived from aromatic plants, herbs, flowers or trees using a process of water, steam or dry distillation. An essential oil or essence is a highly concentrated substance, furthermore it takes a large quantity of raw plant material to produce a single drop. There are many different types of essential oils that are acceptable to use in henna, as a result, depending on your sensitivity, it may have an effect on your health. If you choose to have henna ask your artist what is it that the henna contains. You can read more about the different essential oils here. http://www.hennapage.com/journal/issue_III/article_3/table3.html

What is a henna tattoo?

What is henna? Is a henna tattoo permanent?

Henna tattoo

A henna tattoo refers to the application of henna to the skin for temporary tattoos. There are henna patterns of Arabic, Indian, Persian and Turkish descent. Infusing these distinct patterns and lines show the history and culture of the henna pattern. It is a very traditional form of art and many different motifs exist. 

The different shades of henna

Henna shades range from orange to red to brown however, achieving a certain color depends on many factors. Some factors like what oil it contains as well as length of time left on  the body affects the result. Other henna colors include black. However, not of all of it is natural. Let’s read below to find out more.

Unsafe henna

There are some henna products that may contain certain chemicals that are not good for human use. The red to orange range of henna dye is more likely to be natural however,black henna could be different. This is mostly common with black henna as there is a dye induced called PPD. The coal-tar hair dye contains p-phenylenediamine (PPD.) Due to this chemical being used it can cause dangerous skin reactions in some people. It is banned from use in cosmetics that are intended to be applied to the skin. Avoid the product if it lists PPD or paraphenylenediamine in the ingredients.

Safe black henna

Henna can be made black by adding a different kind of natural gel material called Jagua. Jagua (Genipa Americana) is a fruit, a berry to be exact, that grows naturally and widespread throughout the rainforests of South America. When applied to the skin leave a stain on the top few layers of skin, creating an all-natural temporary blue/black tattoo.  Mixing Jagua with henna can also achieve this result. You can read more about Jagua here: http://jaguaallnaturalbodyart.com/about_jagua.html

Is henna permanent?

Firstly, henna actually is a permanent dye, however it only stains the upper layers of skin, the ones that are regularly sloughed off. So, it’s your skins natural exfoliation process that eliminates the stain, although the dye molecule itself remains fixed. Depending on the ingredients of the henna and what oil is used, it can last from two to three days to a few weeks.

So, there you have it. We have answered “what is a henna tattoo?” and if henna tattoo’s are permanent. Hopefully once Cutantirah is up and running and I am more proficient in my henna skills you can get a tattoo from me 🙂






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